The heart of tech

This article was published on October 11, 2017


Dow Jones mistakenly reports Google to buy Apple for $9B

Dow Jones mistakenly reports Google to buy Apple for $9B
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Of all the places you’d expect to see fake news, the Dow Jones newswire probably isn’t one of them. But this morning, thanks to a “technical error,” it spit out a literally unbelievable story about Google buying Apple.

It wasn’t just one errant alert, either. The Dow Jones newswire told a veritable fable about the purchase. Google would get 9 Apple shares per single Google share; this was apparently the last will of Steve Jobs; Google would take over Apple headquarters like some kind of occupying army — a lot of detail for a technical glitch.

The reported sum was $9 billion, which, in my opinion, should have raised at least a few red flags. Apple surely wouldn’t hand over the keys to the castle for that sum, no matter what the ghost of Steve wanted. 9to5Mac, who spotted the error, reported a brief uptick in Apple’s stock price thanks to this “news.” A similar spike occurred for Google.

According to a statement Dow Jones gave to Mashable: “The items, which were never intended for publication, were accidentally published as part of a technology test.” That would seem to imply a human actually wrote those items.

Now I want to know under what circumstance some no-doubt-chastised Dow Jones employee wrote such a story — and why they included the line “Google says yay.” We’ve reached out to the Dow Jones for further details.

Also tagged with